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‘Listen, Israel: Yahweh our God is the one, the only Yahweh. You must love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. Let the words I enjoin on you today stay in your heart. You shall tell them to your children, and keep on telling them, when you are sitting at home, when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are standing up.’
Tonight, at Compline, we hear part of the Shema Yisrael, considered the most important part of the Jewish morning and evening prayers. It’s use is very old, and has played a major part in the relationship between the Lord nad His people. It can be considered the Lord’s calling card: He tells us who He essentially is, and what we must be sure to remember ourselves and our children.
We know that God is love. How do we answer His relationship with us in any other way than with love in return. God is also perfect, so we must make sure that our love for Him is also as perfect as possible. We find and know God in many ways: in His word in the Bible, in the liturgy of His sacrifice, in the people around us, in Creation. Our love for Him must also overflow into those areas.
God is the one. Let us also be one with Him in love.
The annual yearbook of the Church, the Annuario Pontificio, edition 2012, was presented to Pope Benedict XVI this morning. The book lists basically everything there is to be listed about the Church in the preceding year, although the actual statistics are from 2010.
Vatican Radio gives a short summary of the most interesting statistics, although it seems to be getting the number of professed religious wrong. It either rose to some unknown number, or dropped to the 721,935.
In absolute numbers the Church is growing, although locally, especially in Europe, the trend is the opposite. Relatively to the world population, the numbers stayed about the same.
The ten new jurisdictions established by the pope in 2011 are:
- Diocese of Bo, Sierra Leone
- Diocese of Kondoa, Tanzania
- Diocese of Naviraí, Brazil
- Diocese of Sylhet, Bangladesh
- Diocese of Kabwe, Zambia
- Diocese of Gaoua, Burkina Faso
- Diocese of La Ceiba, Honduras
- Chaldean Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto, Canada
- Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, United Kingdom
- Military Ordinariate of Bosnia and Herzegovina